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The Protest Market: Public Dissent or Private Interest?

April 20, 2009

Tea Parties? This is What Astroturf Looks Like

by $ave the Rich

$ave the Rich is exposing the truth about today’s Tea Parties:

 “Astroturf.” Fake grassroots. It’s what you get when big business and rich zealots hire pricey consultants to manufacture public outrage.

With big budgets, limitless manpower, sophisticated targeting, and a sympathetic media channel, it’s not difficult to generate anger.

We will spend the next days documenting exactly who these people are. They are pushing a message out to the press, and with the press. It’s going to take information and work to push back.

The evidence of astroturfing is everywhere:

  • Corporate lobbyists and their consultants are organizing behind the scenes. Many of the events are being run by staff from think tanks like Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works and American Solutions for Winning the Futures (ASWF) an organization run by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
  • Fox News is encouraging turnout, sponsoring, and covering “Tea Parties” across the country. They’re coordinating much of the information for organizers on-line. Fox News hosts — Beck, Cavuto, Hannity, Bruce, Van Susteren, Malkin and Gingrich — are featured guests at some of the largest gatherings.
  • Protesters have no idea what they’re talking about. At Tea Parties that have taken place over the last few days, attendees are more concerned with Obama’s birth certificate than high taxes or government spending. Fringe gun groups, secessionists, anti-immigration activists and neo-Nazis are out in force.
  • Republican officials are driving turn out. Sen. David Vitter is even sponsoring a bill to honor the protests. At least 12 Republican members of Congress will be featured guests at the Tea Parties. 11 of the 12 Members of Congress attending the events voted against limiting excessive bonuses just two weeks ago.

Look at more evidence here.

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